Campus life can be a bewildering hodgepodge of academics, social activities and other miscellaneous responsibilities. It is tiring and stressful, and sometimes may become so overwhelming that you are struck with the strong desire to curl up in a dark closet and weep.

Luckily, there are a few reprieves from the responsibilities of reality, providing that you are willing to test the waters of extra-curricular clubs and activities. The severe blows of reality can be softened a bit by participating in these pursuits.

Now that I find myself in my senior year of college I regret not getting more involved in such groups because it would have been a great way to reduce stress and I would have kept myself entertained and sociable in the process.

Some of my lack of participation was due to my hesitance to walk into a room full of strangers and ask to join in their hijinks, but a lot of it was due to laziness. I do not recommend succumbing to such influences since by doing so you might miss out on a good number of great things like I did.

Recently I såtumbled upon the Science Fiction Forum, which is located in the Union basement, in room 047. Being an avid devourer of most things related to fantasy or science fiction I was fairly ecstatic when I found myself facing the forum’s crammed bookshelves.

The forum is well stocked on comic books, novels, videos, board games and video games. I realized that I could revel in Batman comics and old Doctor Who videos for free, and this made me pretty happy. However, the feeling became bittersweet when I also realized that I would have found this goldmine of geek culture so much earlier if I had been a little more motivated to explore what this university has to offer in terms of clubs and activities.

While the burdens of homework have kept me from  revisiting the forum, I definitely plan to once more because it’s refreshing to be in the company of like-minded people while still immersing myself in the stuff I love.

The president of the forum says it well: “We’re the largest free-lending library of science fiction, fantasy, and horror on the eastern seaboard. It’s a great place to hang and be a nerd.” While this club is good for my particular interests there is definitely something for everybody at Stony Brook. It is important to remember that even if we have responsibilities to tend to, friends to hang out with and textbooks to cry over there should always be time we set aside for ourselves. Clubs are a fantastic way to utilize “me time” because they offer exactly what you might need to hone your skills or feed your curiosity.  However, you won’t be able to find the facilities offered by clubs in the comfort of your dorm room.

Being shy does nobody any good on a bustling college campus. There is a multitude of interests here, and a lot of them are lucky enough to have clubs funded by the university so that students will have something to do besides getting intimate with alcohol.

Whether you’re a lazy lump, a stressed-out overachiever or somewhere in between, you can definitely benefit from joining a club since you will not just meet new people but you will also be able to cultivate your interests.

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